Fresche Solutions

How to Start Off Your IBM i System’s Transformation

September 27, 2018
Kim O'Dea

How to Start Off Your IBM i System’s Transformation

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” - Lao Tzu

My family and I have a begun a journey, one that started a few months ago. After more than two decades in our current home, we decided we needed to make a major decision about its future. There is nothing really wrong with our current home. I have the fortune of a handy and talented husband, and over the 20 years we have lived here, we have completely customized this home and land. Together, we’ve torn down walls (seven in fact), added others, raised ceilings, added beautiful gardens with a pond and opened up tiny windows into sprawling bay windows large enough to sit and read books in. Every inch of this house and half acre of land has been touched, changed and customized to fit the O’Dea family. And this house has served us well.

Our current journey began at a recent Sunday family dinner, when we got to talking about the things we wanted in our ideal house, and the “Top Ten Home Wish List” began. We realized that for the way we live and the way we live together, we needed things we didn’t have. We began to think about everything from minor to major renovation and even the possibility of moving.

Earlier this week while talking with a customer about their legacy system transformation, I realized that the decision to begin a journey – any journey, regardless of the destination – begins with a single step. And not unlike my family’s journey, it starts with a wish list and a destination in mind.

This particular client is looking at their long-term growth strategy and has realized that their legacy platform is not currently doing what they need to get there. The question for them is: can we remodel and rebuild the IBM i platform or do we need to look at the alternatives? Their IBM i platform hasn’t failed them, but to meet the needs of their clients, and to support the organization’s growth strategy, they need to make some tough decisions.

The stake holders of this organization have begun to build their wish list. These lists have all of the things they need from the system to be more flexible, more agile, and more competitive.

With a wish list and a destination, this client is ready to begin this journey.

Not unlike my current home, the IBM i platform has served them well. It has been scalable, secure and reliable. The talented and dedicated team that supports the IBM i mid-range platform has written many custom programs, built bridges between applications and has made this platform entirely unique. These customizations to their platform have allowed them to tackle their unique business needs along their journey of the last 20 years.

But business has changed. Their business has changed. They need to find ways to be more agile and flexible – their customers are demanding it. If this organization does not make changes, there is the possibility that they will be left behind in their industry. This is a critical impasse.

Getting Started: Functionality Wish List and Strategic Growth Plan

Armed with a functionality wish list in one hand and a strategic growth plan in the other, this organization is asking the next question – now what?

The journey is not going to be easy. Tough questions are going to be asked and tough decisions will need to be made. Similar to my journey of looking with a fresh eye at our house, and opening up its doors, closets, attics and crawl spaces to imagine the possibilities, this client and the Fresche IT Strategy team are about to peer deep into the entire infrastructure of this unique and customized platform with a six-week Discovery service.

Starting with an intensive four-day onsite meeting with every stakeholder, business leader and the IT team around the table, we are going to ask those tough questions, build out a path to their future, and uncover every step necessary for that journey. No matter the destination, the critical steps in the journey will be outlined, pitfalls uncovered, and opportunities for success revealed.

Change is never easy, and significant change can be scary, but the rewards so often outweigh the risks. Every journey begins with a single step, and a Fresche Discovery engagement provides the information required to make good choices and establish a safe path. In the end, you’ll learn what is possible on the IBM i platform, and have a transformation roadmap based on in-depth analysis and decades of experience. Stay tuned for more stories about this client’s Discovery engagement and where this journey will take them!

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” - Danny Kaye

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